5 Myths About Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is defined as any pain that lasts for three months or more, which is three months too long as far as you’re concerned. You want your life back, free from pain, and you’re frustrated by the lack of answers.

As practitioners devoted to managing pain, our team here at Comprehensive Pain Management, led by Dr. Boris Shwartzman and Dr. Do Chan, understands your frustration. Chronic pain can be a complex problem to solve, but we’ve got the experience and tools you need to find much-needed relief.

Unfortunately, some of the battles we’re up against are common misconceptions about pain, and we address five of them here.

1. You’re alone in your pain

The incidence of chronic pain in the United States is extremely high — one in five adults reports issues with chronic pain, and more than 7% report high-impact pain, which is pain that limits their lives in significant ways.

Breaking these numbers down even further, age plays a large role as more than 30% of people over 65 report chronic pain. When broken out by gender, about 22% of women have chronic pain, which is slightly more than men (19%).

2. Chronic pain is a natural part of aging

Given that nearly one-third of those who report chronic pain are aged 65 or older, it may lead you to believe that pain is a natural part of aging. We don’t believe that this is true, and pain shouldn’t be natural at any age. Granted, older people have more degenerative issues that can lead to pain, but we have treatments for these issues, which also relieve your pain.

3. Pain is in your head

This statement is technically true, as your brain is command central for pain, but to declare that your pain isn’t real because it’s only in your head is patently false.

The human nervous system is incredibly complex, and we’re only scratching the surface when it comes to understanding pain that has no readily identifiable source. While we may not be able to connect the dots, we do understand that your pain is real.

4. Pain is harmful to your body

The human nervous system is designed to signal you when there’s a problem so that you can take action to prevent damage. While pain can certainly play a role in helping you to avoid harm, chronic pain is often caused by over-triggered nerves that keep signaling despite the fact that there’s no threat of bodily harm.

5. Pain means confinement and rest

Actually, moving your body can often help with pain. While exercise may be the last thing on your mind when you’re in pain, it can be one of the most useful treatment tools. Not only does exercise stimulate “feel-good” hormones in your brain, including dopamine, but exercise in the form of physical therapy can often help solve your underlying problem.

If you want to learn more about chronic pain and the solutions we offer, contact one of our offices in Attleboro or Franklin, Massachusetts, or South Kingstown or Warwick, Rhode Island, to set up your pain management evaluation.

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